by MAGDALENE- MGBEKE NNODIM | OWERRI, Nigeria
Goal: Developing & training mothers in home grown nutrition & hygiene for good maternal & child health
MRS. MAGDALENE NNODIM AFM ENUGU REGION COORDINATOR ON HEALTH, WOMEN & CHILDREN AT WORK
MOTHERS PRAYER & TRAINING SESSION
HOME GROWN NUTRITION SUPPLEMENT/ INCOME GENERATION PROJECT FOR MOTHERS
AFM WOMEN'S TRAINING CONFERENCE
The Apostolic Faith Ministries has its international head quarters in Portland Oregon. In order to effectively address the health needs of our children and mothers, we have worked with our church members and friends of our church who have carried out two major research studies into child health and maternal health. The first study was in the area of level of anemia in children five years and below. We found that 70% of the children in both rural and urban settings suffer from some level of anemia. The second study was in the use of homegrown remedy which is more affordable for treating anemia. We stimulated the carrying out of a study with the University of Calabar on the use of local remedies to fight anemia in the research paper Potency of mixed diet of garlic, garden egg and groundnut on some biochemical parameters of induced anaemic wistar rats by M. A. Eluwa, T. E. Isamoh, A. O. Akpantah, O. R. Asuquo and T. B. Ekanem Department of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. This publication can be found on www.scholarsresearchlibrary.com There are about 80 church centers in the Enugu Region where natural birth attendants, first aid workers and counselors help the women. The number of church centers state by state whose women activities are under my supervision are as follows;- Anambra 15 churches, Enugu 22 churches, Ebonyi 9 churches, Imo 31 churches, Each state has several bible study centers which are also churches in formation. With my many years experience as a nurse and with the exposure I had as a personal hygiene products representative as well as the vast information I have gathered working with the women and their families in the various regions where My husband has been posted as an overseer, I can say that the major problems that I have identified are as follows;- a) Child anemia which induces low immunity and causes easy disease susceptibility in children, immunizations notwithstanding. It also enhances fatality to several diseases such as malaria, common cold and flu viruses, pneumonia, and whooping cough etc. b) Poor child mental development and inability of the brain to develop properly as expected during the early formative years of the child which is induced by anemia and low protein intake in the child . This condition thus results in low IQ and young populations with generally low mental development and capacity to engage in basic mental activities. c) Low child and mother physical activity output induced by anemia and poor nutrition. This leaves the child with very little energy to play and exercise other play and activity related movements. It also leaves the mother weak and unable to carry out the necessary activities required in running her home and her life. d) Pre-partum and post partum maternal anemia resulting in birth related maternal mortality and fatalities, poor post partum lactation and general lack of energy for the mother to carry out basic maternal care functions. e) Ignorance of mothers on the value of local foods and how to incorporate such foods into the daily family diet process. This calls for capacity building for the mothers to equip them with the skills of food processing for adequate family nutrition. f) Lack of capacity by many mothers to produce their own healthy foods. This is despite the training interventions, it thus creates a need for a home grown food supplement product to be produced which can be purchased by or made available to mothers who have low capacity to produce their own health food supplements. g) Poor knowledge of environmental and personal hygiene by mothers thus resulting in increased infections and disease transmissions. h) Inability of mothers to afford basic environmental and personal hygiene items to prevent maternal, family and child infections. This will need a training and capacity building workshop to train women on how to produce cheaper personal and environmental hygiene materials from items that are readily available to them. i) Inability of mothers to deal effectively with water quality related illnesses such as cholera, typhoid, diarrhea, worms, etc. Many of our church centers are at rural areas where there is no running water. The sources of water are usually the surface streams or the boreholes or wells. Mothers need to be taught how to purify water using the resources available to them. From the use of such items as local Morringa - Olivera seed powder and plant as a water purifier to the use of chlorinated water solutions and basic boiling and filtration of drinking water. j) Lack of basic first aid knowledge on how to deal with some common emergencies such as poisonous snake and scorpion bites burns and wounds, fire incidents, etc. k) Preponderance of fake and unwholesome drugs has made dependence on drug based treatment of family health issues unreliable and risky. The identification of primary sources of the active substances in the various plants around and training mothers on how to use these plants Some examples of common food plants and herbs which are being used as remedy for some common ailments are as follows;- #African spinach juice to fight anemia, #soya-bean flour /milk to provide protein and vitamin B complex and Citrus/ oranges/ exotic fruits such as pawpaw, pineapple to provide vitamin C to fight colds and flu, and even cancerous infections. #Use of Morringa - Olivera seed and plant to improve immunity. #Coconut meat to fight osteoporosis. We have taught the women how to plant and process these health protecting foods for their families in the past. We however need to step-up this training of mothers for improved family well being. In malaria control, Periodic system cleansing with garlic and African herbs pepper-soup or tea are helpful.